Salvation by Peter F. Hamilton

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The Salvation Sequence Vol 1. Macmillan, 2018. ISBN 9781447281320
(Age: Senior secondary - Adult) Recommended for mature Sci-fi lovers. Themes: Science Fiction. Space travel. Future survival. Technology. Aliens. Genetic modification. Peter F. Hamilton is a master of the Sci-Fi genre and this volume introducing The Salvation Sequence is brimming full of the complexities of Science's answers to the world's problems into the future. The existence of the human population into the 23rd century is subject to a multitude of scientific, biological and technological enhancements, some of which have alien origins. The socio-politico complications of life lead to the need for powerful cyber-security and espionage personnel with amazing skills. This book covers multiple generations of amazing people who are involved in intrigue, crime fighting and overcoming the threats to life. Each individual has a different story to tell and an interesting history, and the weaving of their threads together is skilfully artistic, and the book reads more like a spy thriller and murder mystery than a Sci-fi story. Hamilton does not ignore the ideological and philosophical discussions related to genetic manipulation, technological advancements that extend life, dealing with waste and energy production, and even the notion of religious expression. These are all motifs that make this a powerful exploration of the future while being a compelling narrative with alien participants too. The jumps in time and physical space through portals allowing interspatial travel are also exciting and the Sci-fi equivalent of travel in the Harry Potter magical world but with sophisticated adult participants who deal with real scientific issues rather than magical ones. The investigation of an extremely violent murder scene and its connection to other problems in the extended universe/world is also very complex. The book leaves the reader with the promise of more to come!
I am not a passionate Sci-fi lover, so found this book initially difficult to connect with and hard work to read, but could not refute the powerful story-telling, the detailed writing skills and the masterful capacity of the author to explain the scientific principles upon which the future world was based. The altered normalities of life beyond 2200 were incredibly complex and only those with a good scientific interest would be enthused by the changed foundations of life. The audacious activities of the central characters were movie-worthy and like a Sci-Fi 'James Bond-style' adventure with undercover participants, risky investigations, murders and romances carried out in extreme secrecy and with awesome technological and cyber assistance. A hint of spy-vs-spy action adds another layer of complexity.
Recommended for mature Sci-fi lovers. Not for the faint-hearted as it contains violence and mature themes.
Carolyn Hull